Across the street from the essence of Fort Lauderdale, where good times were rolling, the Vancouver Canucks brain trust huddled, curtains closed, in two separate meeting rooms to debate the future of the organization.
Studio 5 got going at 8:30 a.m. (est) as the Canucks amateur scouts continued preparing for the 2015 NHL Draft; 19 scouts and members of management gathered around four tables, 19 laptops glowing in front of them, a spider web of cords congregated in the middle.
Whiteboard on the left, easel holding an oversized pad of white paper on the right. Markers galore – the icky smelling ones, no Mr. Sketch scented watercolours in sight.
The process was straightforward. John Weisbrod, Canucks vice president of player personnel, who sat at the head of the table alongside Eric Crawford (director of player personnel) and Jonathan Wall (director, hockey operations and analytics), ran down a list of how the Canucks see the first round of the draft playing out. He’d say a name and whichever scout knew that player best would provide their thoughts.
If there’s debate to be had, it’s a harmonious discussion, not two people fighting over the last bag of original pork rinds down at the Piggly Wiggly.
Roundtable dialogue ensues, the player is rated on set criteria and it’s on to the next one.
The meeting lasted six hours Thursday, following an all-day meeting Wednesday. It’s safe to say the Canucks are prepared to make the 23rd overall pick Friday evening. Regardless of who is picked ahead of their selection, the Canucks have enough talent targeted that they’ll get their guy.
Things fired up in Studio 4 at 10 a.m. as the pro scouts and management held a more intimate meeting. General manager Jim Benning led the group of 10 through different trade and draft scenarios; the second year GM has the final word on everything, but is all ears during the debates that follow each potential development.
As of the moment I type this, there has been only talk, no action.
Benning met with the media early in the afternoon to provide some insight into what direction the Canucks are heading in regards to potential trades; president Trevor Linden also talked to CanucksTV about all things draft.
Both studios four and five are now vacant, curtains open as the good times continue rolling across the street.
If the next two days play out how the Canucks anticipate, the good times will be rolling organizationally following a successful 2015 NHL Draft.